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Govt denies reports claiming resignation of health minister

Dr Basel Al-Sabah

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem yesterday denied reports claiming that Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah has resigned. “Reports on social media claiming that the health minister has resigned are untrue,” Mazrem said on Twitter, without providing any further details. The minister has been for months under pressure from opposition lawmakers and some social activists for allegedly failing to handle the coronavirus crisis.

Opposition MPs have filed to grill him over the coronavirus issue and allegations of financial irregularities during the pandemic. The grilling was not debated because opposition MPs had insisted to grill the prime minister first. A hike recently in the number of coronavirus cases and reports that the country could go back to closures and partial curfews ignited sharp criticism against the minister.

The health ministry meanwhile yesterday permitted some people to mix different vaccinations based on medical necessity. The ministry said in a statement that people who received a first dose and have a medical issue that prevents them from taking the same vaccination, will be allowed to take a different vaccine dose. The same applies to pregnant women whose condition requires that they take a different second vaccine. The ministry said it will also accept mixed vaccinations taken outside the country, provided both vaccines are approved by Kuwait.

Meanwhile, opposition MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa yesterday said an investment company owned by the Public Institution for Social Security, a public body, may have acquired a tower in the capital under suspicious circumstances. He said he had asked Finance Minister Khalifa Hamada about the purchase of the building by the state investment firm and received an incomplete reply intended to hide information. He said the private company that sold the tower is building a new skyscraper next to it, which after completion will negatively impact the value of the tower. He called on the minister to cancel the deal.


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